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Hi friends! I’m Allie, Forest’s assistant. You may have seen me on Instagram live talking about our new spring line. I’m an equestrian, food allergy/intolerance sufferer, a military wife, dog mom and for about 18 years I have battled with feminine health issues. I am excited to share my stripes with you. The timing of my blog could not be better. March marks Endometriosis Awareness Month. And this year March is a little more special to me, this year, after 18 years of struggling, I am just a few weeks away from surgery to confirm a very intimidating diagnosis, Endometriosis.
At the ripe old age of 10, I got my first period, it lasted almost 2 weeks making me so sick some days I couldn’t go to school, or get out of bed. Horrible, 2 week long periods would plague me until the age of 18, when the doctor finally decided to put me on hormonal birth control to hopefully gain control over my body, and it worked, for a few years. Then it stopped working, I would go months between “periods” and when I did have them, they were once again horrible, making me miserable, sometimes even passing out. For a few years we carried on trying different options attempting to find something that worked, until after a 6-month battle with a new medication, I said enough is enough and stopped taking my birth control.
At first I did fine, my body adjusted to not having the hormones every day, I was happy. I lost the weight the medications had caused me to gain. My anxious and depressed feelings started to subside, and I went a LONG time without a panic attack. I thought I found the answer, my body was fine. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. Tons of pain, tons of bleeding, and almost passing out while driving. I was scared and started canceling plans around my period, afraid I would pass out or be too weak to do normal activities. Knowing Forest’s battle with endometriosis, I turned to her for help, was this normal? What do I do next? Through this all I have learned there is so much more to endometriosis than just the reproductive symptoms we think of. Things like chronic low back pain and food intolerances are also common symptoms and challenges endo warriors face.
I am so grateful to Forest. She supported and pushed me to take control of my health, and at the end of this month, I will go for my first endometriosis surgery. I started opening up about my struggle to others and found out I as not alone. In fact, one of my close friends from church referred me to her doctor, who is the one I am now seeing, and will be doing my surgery.
Photo Credit: Wendy Kane Photography
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t absolutely terrified of what March 27th will bring. My biggest fear is honestly that I don’t have endo, and that we will be back to square one, searching for what is wrong, and why I feel so terrible. To all my fellow warriors be proud of the stripes that have made you who you are. Our stories may be different, but the support and love we can show each other creates an amazing community.